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tv   The War Room With Jennifer Granholm  Current  February 5, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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>>so we asked him a question and he immediately left. that was strange. what do you, i try to avoid these kinds of questions. what do you do for a living, what's your job? he's not working. selling something. ok, so he's a merchant. so it's difficult speaking to a lot of these people because they don't speak chinese. and that's a problem because it's harder for them to find jobs. most of the people who live in this neighborhood. they don't have regular jobs. most of them are merchants selling different things. from here you can get a pretty clear view of who's benefiting and who isn't. and finally that's the dilemma behind the tension and troubles
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between the chinese government and the uighurs. is the chinese government lifting the uighurs into the 21st century or destroying their culture? is it progress or oppression? and will the government's fear of terrorism and the uighur's feeling of being persecuted lead to even more violence in china's wild west? >> jennifer: i'm jennifer granholm. tonight in the war room the government is finally taking a reading's company to court for its role in the 2008 meltdown. to which i say be thankful they're only suing you and not putting you in a locked room because of homeowners whose live you helped to destroy.
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>> today the u.s. government filed charges against the agencies of standard & poor's for its role in the 2008 economic cries. s & p rates investments. when they give an investment a high rating it's considered a low risk. even the most conservative investors like pension funds feel confident buying that product. well the justice department allegeses that s & p knowingly gave high rates to toxic bad mortgages that s & p knew were risky because s & p wanted more business from the banks that createed those purposefully risky bad bundles. that's right. they said the agency, they're
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getting paid by the very banks they're evaluating. a little conflict of credit? >> s & p misled investors including federally insureed financial institutions causing them to lose billions of dollars. >> going after the credit rating agencies have been a long time in coming. they've called it code made alchemy. they've been doing it for three years and during that time s & p turned over 100 million pages of documents including e-mails between employees and some damaging information has come from those e-mails where one employee wrote that they wanted the ratings to be "business friendly." another e-mail where an s & p analyst wrote that executives were angry afraid of angering the
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banks by giving lower ratings. and employees actually saw the crisis coming even though they continued to give these toxic bundled mortgages, they continued to give them perfect ratings, all the way back in in 2006 one employee wrote that rating agencies are creating even a bigger monster of the c. c.d.o. market. let's hope we're all wealthy and retired by the time this house of cards falters. then there is a message between analysts. official number one, by the way that deal is ridiculous. official number two, i know, right? the definite does not capture half the risk. official number one. we should not be rating it. official number two. we rate every deal. it could be structureed by cows and we would rate it. i would say that's is
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incriminating and poetic. the justice department uncovered a video that one employee sent around the office where he sang about the collapse of subprime markets. that's right, he wrote a song to the tune of ♪ burning down the house ♪ [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> jennifer: they haven't made that video public. you just have to imagine a financial analyst doing his best david burn impression to predict the collapse of the economy. but despite the evidence standard & poor's denies any wrongdoing. they said, a d.o.j. lawsuit would be buyerly without factual or legal merit. now is it suggested that not only did they do anything wrong but the investigation might be retaliation for s & p's down
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grading of the u.s. credit rating. they believe this is retaliation. the company floated that idea, the lawyer did on cnbc today. >> is this political pay back to down grade u.s. debt. your clients believe this is some how politically motivated? >> i don't think anyone knows. is it true that after the down grade the intensity of this investigation significantly increased? yeah, i'm sure the government would say that it had nothing to do with it. >> but it did increase after. >> yes yes. >> jennifer: well, these charges that the d.o.j. filed were civil so no one would do any jail time but the u.s. is seeking $5 billion from standard & poor's, and the investigation is already taking it's toll on the
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company's stock. the company stock tumbled the most it had in 25 years after s & p announced it was expecting the lawsuit yesterday. joining us now is william cohen the author of "house of cards." and his recent book, "money and power:: how goldman sachs came to rule the world." he's coming to us from new york. william, thank you for coming to "the war room" again. >> it's great to be here again. thank you for having me. >> jennifer: you bet. there have been investigations in the banks. no criminal cases against them. why bring this case against s & p before really the banks themselves have been brought to justice? >> well, first of all you know, i wonder what took the justice department so long in this s & p case. that's number one. number two that lawyer that
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represented s&p should be thanking his clients. his clients should be thanking their lucky stars this is only a civil litigation, not criminal because i'm telling you i have read these e-mails. these e-mails many of which have been included in state and other civil litigation that shareholders have brought and others have brought against s&p. this is the first time, of course that there has been a federal lawsuit. they're lucky it's only a civil lawsuit. this is incredibly incriminating. this will be settled because the last thing that s&p wants is for there to be a trial in this situation. >> jennifer: well, they want to apparently there were some settlement talks and they walked away because the amount was too much. we'll see what happens. my guess is they probably will settle with those incriminating e-mails. my question is where why are they only targeting s&p? why not moody and fitch who is
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also rating these collateralized cdos. >> i don't know why they would target only s&p. moody's is every bit involved. fitch, too. the whole rating system is broken because as you pointed out in your excellent piece leading up to this, that the rating agencies are paid by the investment banks. any time they are paid by the investment banks as their employees--their own employees pointed out, they're going to do what the investment bangs have banks have asked them to do, which is to rate these cdos. there were thousands of these cdos and cdos squared and all sorts of squirrly securities that were rated triple-a.
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and the reason why they were rated triple-a, that's what the banks wanted them to do. they did exactly what they were paid to do. the model is broken, all these ratings agencies that have this model should pay. the litigation should be brought against them. i don't i don't why it's just s&p. moody's was just as bad. fitch was justed a bad. >> jennifer: maybe they only had evidence to go after them first. i don't know why you don't rope them into a global settlement. the issue of conflict of interest is interesting to me because the system is broken. what will happen--what should happen in terms of reforms? >> well, you know, right after the crisis in 2008 and 2009 you may remember this or not, the f sec held a number of round table session where is they talked about reforming the way the
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rating agencies conduct their business, i.e. this issue of payed model. they had round tables, hearings, issued lots of documents and transcript notes, and they didn't change a darn thing. it's outrageous. it's beyond outrageous. there is one rating agency, egan jones. i talked to sean egan, the founder of this, and talk about retaliation, the sec penalized egan jones a small amount like $25,000 for a technical difficulty related to some issue issue--some securities they were underwriting. but egan jones is the only one who is paid by their clients not the issuer, by the people who receive the information. that's the way to do it. >> jennifer: that's the way to do it. >> egan jones is on to something, but unfortunately they're small potatoes in thissish billerthismuch bigger cartel
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that the other agencies have created. >> jennifer: what do you think about the issue of going after s&p after after the down grade? do you think this is a retaliatory investigation? >> i think that is preposterous jennifer, because the e-mails what they did in 2005 in 2005, 2006, 2007 leading up to this crisis, i have read plenty of internal documents where their own people knew that they were creating a firestorm and they were rating things triple-a that had no business dealing rated triple-a. >> jennifer: when you have nothing else, alleged conspiracy, allege retaliation. what would the penalty mean to standard & poor's and the industry? >> mcgraw hill, the parent company of s&p their stock has
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tumbled in the at announcement of this civil litigation. s&p would wipe out several year's worth of earnings. but for mcgraw hill this is not good. that's why they want to settle this. they would settle it far less than $25 million. they should have settled before they announced this lawsuit. their own e-mails would show that they should settle this. >> jennifer: i'm sure. authorthank you californiathank you for coming on. hearings on the topics of immigration reform. and meanwhile congresswoman karen bass. she focused on sequester cuts and the budget, and rightly so
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on the looming deadline. we'll look at the looming issue. and chris christie, why he's everyone's favorite public. this is tuesday night in the war room. stick around.
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inside the headlines, way inside. (vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current. >> jennifer: we're back inside "the war room." i'm jennifer granholm. the g.o.p.-controlled judiciary committee of the house kicked off immigration hearings today. at issue was the 11 million undocumented immigrants who are residing in the u.s. republicans who lost big with latinos in november know they've got to pass some reform to make them look more inclusive. but judicialary committee chairman bob good dlatte didn't sound like he was in any kind of rush. >> i think everyone yeses that our nation's immigration system
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is in desperate need of repair. and it is not working as efficiently and fairly as it should be. the american people and members of congress have a lot of questions about about our legal immigration system should work and lots of questions go why our immigration laws haven't always been sufficiently enforceed. >> jennifer: democrats like our next guest illinois congressman luis gutierrez are pushing for a swift path to assist ship. >> thank you for having me. >> jennifer: grad to have you here. your colleague, house majority leader eric cantor, and he softened his stand on immigration when it comes to children. he said it is time to provide an opportunity for at least legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this
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country as children and know no another home. are you saying that republicans are open to immigration reform but in reality they are not. >> here's what i think. i think we had a republican party a few short months ago ran a presidential campaign on the platform that sb 1070 in arizona, the anti-immigrant law in arizona should be the model used in all 49 states. it also said in their platform that the way you deal with undocumented workers in this country is that they should self-deport. go home, back your bag and leave. leave hinds your businesses, children and the decades you've been here, many of them. but what is really curious that romney said he would veto the dream act. if he were president of the united states. i thanked eric cantor and i'm
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happy to hear eric cantor. what he said was i will support a pathway for citizenship for young immigrants. the majority leader who is an influence member of his caucus and party voted against the dream act the last time it was before the house and now wants to adopt it. i think that's a step forward. you know what, every now and then there are elections and we all respect the results of the elections and do the people's work that they sent us here to do. >> jennifer: you're so great. that's such a positive way to look at it. a cynical person might say hmm, there are 11 million undocumented immigrants. if they get a path to citizenship, that may have been 11 million people who might end up voting democratic. are they are really going to make the changes that they now say that they want to make. >> i got it, good, here is what
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happened the american people voted for immigration reform resoundingly. in colorado, nevada new mexico, florida, they voted for it. democrats really want it. you're right republicans really need it. i think that's probably a good equation for getting it done. number one. but number two look, the fact that there are 500,000 latinos turn 18 every year. yes, for your viewers they're all citizens of the united states turning 18. you saw the electoral map and the swift changes being made given this demographic change. they have to respond because in two years there will be latinos registered to vote in this country. so look, i think the republican party, you know who said it
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best? let's give him credit, john mccain. he was my partner in 2005. i and congress flake now senator flake introduced it in the house and senator kennedy introduced comprehensive immigration reform. you saw what he said last week. why are you doing it? he said, politics. one word. politics. but you know what, what does that really mean? let's extrapolate a little bit. in other words those people won't vote for us if we don't do this. i want to have the ability to talk to them and garner their vote. so the community spoke and now politicians are changing. i think it's refreshing in washington, d.c. to hear people simply tell the truth. >> jennifer: i'm so happy to hear you say that. i--i question their authenticity and rationallal rational, east it
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might createat least it mightcreate policies. there was actually a group of pro immigration activists who i think disrupted today's hearing just before congressman dearly issa spoke. listen to this. [ protesting ] >> the committee will have order. >> jennifer: it's a little bit hard for us to hear. what exactly were they looking for? >> sure, it's a group of youth undocumented youth who say they're unafraid, and they're coming out and letting everybody know that it's time to give them a pathway to legalization. theythere is also involved expanding immigration issue to make sure
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that our brothers and sisters in the lgbt community are also commuted when we transform our system. i believe our marriage and marriage of same-sex couples should be given the same treatment. there should be no differentiation. that love and tenderness they have for one another and wanting to have a family, we should respect that family unit. we reintroduced uafa, which would not recognize in our immigration law marriage, but we would recognize the right of an american citizen to fall in love with someone in another country of the same sex and be able to apply for a visa and bring them to live happily content just as i or you as an american citizen.
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>> jennifer: i just love listening to you talk. you make me proud to be a democrat. how much of president obama's leverage do you think he'll use or he will need to use to actuallily get this remormon passed? is there not momentum on the other side of the aisle that you think this will happen pretty quickly? >> yes, i think that's the most important thing. look nothing happens in washington, d.c. without a demand outside of washington, d.c. there is no one who can--who has a better position in our political structure than the president of the united states. i believe that's what president obama is going to do. our president will go from here to there and everywhere in the country, keep insisting that congress act. the people voted they re-elected him by 5 million votes. they'll use that bully pulpit. keep the pressure on the congress of the united states. nothing is going to happen unless we're persistent and insistent, and he's the one to
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keep it up for us. >> jennifer: i'm so proud you came to "the war room" and gave us the perspective on what happened. on the ground today. up next we switch to another big issue in dc that needs to be tackled on the hill. it is the budget. karen bass will be here to join us to talk about that right after the quick break. have him floor it, spin it punch it, drift it put it through its paces is he happy? oh ya, he's happy! [ male announcer ] and that's how you test your car for fun. easy.
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>> obama: there is no reason those who work in clean energy not to mention the growth of the entire economy should be put in jeopardy because folks in washington could not come together to eliminate special interest tax loopholes. >> jennifer: he's urging congress to pass a short-term budget that would delay the deep
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budget cuts known as sequestration. those are going to take affect next month. the president's plan would include spending cuts and increases in revenue, a balanced approach. in a statement house speaker responded to the proposal saying we believe there is a better way to reduce the deficit. the president's sequester should be replaced with spending cuts and reforms. that will start us on the path to balancing the budget in ten years. there is no balance in terms of revenue. the question is are congress and the white house headed for yet another big showdown. to come to us from washington to answer that question is karen bass from california. thank you for coming to the war room. >> thank you for having me again. >> jennifer: you bet. so the republicans are saying that obama's plan as he announced today are dead on arrival. are they serious?
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is this just posturing before they reach a deal? >> i certainly hope it is because the fact of the matter is we're three weeks away from the hammer falling. what the president has called for is for the republican majority to act responsibly. why on earth would they want to send our economy into another recession. if we can't come to a grand deal by march 1st. what the president has said and the democratic leadership hats said is okay do another short-term proposal but make it balanced. you cannot reduce the deficit through cuts alone. >> jennifer: you have validation because there was released a report that said the projected budget deficit for the fiscal year will be $845 billion. for the past four years the deficits have exceeded 1 trillion-dollar. so you're seeing a decline in the amount of deficit. the question is are the republicans really crying wolf
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when they continue to talk about blowing deficits when, in fact the measures that the president and congress have taken so far have actually caused the deficit to decrease. >> well, exactly. especially the last plan where we did have a balanced approach for once. but what speaker boehner has said is that the president got his revenue, and so there is not going to be a balanced approach any more. you know, when paul ryan put his budget forward last year it wouldn't have reached balance for 20 or 30 years. so as you're talking about a balanced budget in ten years the only way from their perspective to do that is absolute draconian cuts. when they're talking about reforms, you and i are very well aware that is just code word for taking medicare and turning it into a voucher. taking medicaid and turning it into a block grant which is another way of saying a significant cut to these programs that i believe are part of what makes us a great country. >> jennifer: i just don't understand what about data
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people don't respond to. for example in the congressional budget office today when they issued their reports saying that if the sequester goes through or if the cuts like that, whether they're all cuts through the sequestration has been determined or if there are cuts another way it will slow the economy and damage the drives me nuts. anyway, in in an article in politico today said that in order to reduce spending, republicans are considering cuts to the pentagon. that's what the sequester already contains. heretofore they thought that to be unthinkable. if the republicans are willing to give a bit on pentagon cuts are democrats willing to give on any social programs. >> you know already we have cut
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over 1 trillion-dollar. the only way we've been addressing the deficit minus from what we did on january 2nd have been through cuts alone. i think our safety net is already tattered, and i certainly don't want to see it destroyed. having said that i think there are ways to find savings. there are ways to find savings in medicare where you're not reducing benefits, you're not raising the age but renegotiating prescription drugs for one example. we can find savings without having any further cuts that actually slow the growth of our economy. >> jennifer: yes, totally agree. tell us just quickly about the process from here. there is only three weeks left. so what happens right now? the leadership goes in? what's the process? >> that's an interesting question. if you look at the month of february we're only in session for 11 days. that's a bit of a mystery for
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the democrats. the process should be that there is a budget voted on on our floor that goes over to the senate. now what i'm hoping is that my republican colleagues won't do what they've done over the past sever years is that pass budgets that they know is dead on arival when they hit the senate. pass budgets that are cut. are they going to pass a budget that is a message bill or are they going to pass a budget that is serious. >> jennifer: so are meetings happening right now so they don't pass something that is just for show? >> well, i don't believe they are bipartisan meetings. i hope there are meetings happening within their own caucus. you know, i do still think we're a couple of moss away from the election i do still think there is a level of disorientation happening. >> jennifer: you think? [ laughing ] >> the whole "viewpoint" view viewpoint
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over the last few years is to make sure the president isn't re-elected. past that they don't know what to do. >> jennifer: they have to put a different cd in their drive. it's a different program folks. that's congresswoman karen bass joining us in "the war room." if i was going to go in any political battle i would want christine pelosi on one side of me as we traverse the political landscape right after the break.
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>> jennifer: today marks the 25th anniversary of bill clinton signing the family and medical leave act. it guarantees new parents 12 weeks off after childbirth. when that was passed, 119
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republicans signed against that. and several of them are still in the house. so our favorite guy today eric cantor making his pitch today. >> our solutions will be based on the conservative principles of self reliance faith in the individual, trust in family, and accountability in government. our goal is to ensure that every american has a fair shot to earn success and achieve their dreams. >> jennifer: every american has a fair shot. every american. sound like familiar language to me. maybe even out of one of the president's famous speeches like the one he just had in the inauguration. but rhetoric, of course, will not change the underlying policies. for example, take eric cantor's remarks on student lends. >> we alsoloans.
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>> we want to work on our student aid process to give incentive to finish studies sooner. >> jennifer: sounds great. but he forgot to mention that his team voted to eliminate pell grants to over a million students. silly republicans, don't you know that tricks are for kids. joining me now are two war room favorites, christine pelosi, and from washington, d.c. democratic strategist jill alper. thank you so much for joining us inside "the war room." >> thank you. happy birthday. >> jennifer: shh shh. what birthday. christine, the family medical leave act is 20 years old and we're seeing some arguments play out with respect to the violence against women act that has had a lot of republican resistence. there were eight senators who
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voted against pushing it forward yet. it has not gotten to the house yet. does it get passed? >> yes in some form it gets passed. probably not as i said last week the republicans can't go from madmen to modern family in a couple of speeches. you have to look at modern families. we have to look real list realicly of what modern families look like today. >> jennifer: but will republicans agree with you? >> some will. some urban and suburban republicans will. >> jennifer: this whole eric cantor trying to rebrand, karl rove trying to get moderate candidates, which is a smart move on their part. a new poll that found that voters are more reluctant to identify themselves as republicans after november.
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andand republican identification is down by an average of 4 points. can they rebrand their way out of this one? >> i don't know, i think it will be tough. you have jindal calling them the stupid party. you have cantor calling for a makeover. it's very painful to watch. but there is an one popular statement, you can't put lipstick on a pig. as long as they're wrong on immigration they won't win latinos. as long as they're wrong on the violence against women act and protecting people in terms of gun violence prevention and pre-productive health they won't have women. as long as they're not talking about affordable college in a real way and climate control they won't have young vote voters. as long as they attack medicare and medicaid, social security
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they're going to have a tough time with seniors. they can talk about makeovers and etch-a-sketch moments but where is the beef? i >> jennifer: they have to come over to our side of the aisle. christina, you've done a lot of training of women running for office. so susana martinez, the governor of new mexico, she has just accepted a role as co-chair of the future majority caucus, sort of aspirational there. it's designed to recruit hispanic and female candidates to the republican tent. on the other side, i'm thinking about 2016, you think about her potentially being a presidential candidate in 2016. we learned that hillary clinton launched a website we all hope that is a signal for the future. can you imagine a 2016 race with
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susana martinez pitted against hillary clinton. >> hillary, if. you're thinking of running we're for you. >> jennifer: we're for you all the way. >> i don't know if the republicans would nominate susana martinez for president. the party, the way they're talking, they're talking a good game, but look at where the votes are. these the same people chanting let him die. these are not going to be the same people-- >> jennifer: i have a feeling they're going to spend four years to prove you wrong on that. there is another great woman who has surfaced as a 2016 candidate, janet napolitano. i'm going to tell you what i think, but i'm interested in what you think people should know about janet. >> well, we do know her well, and she is tough as nails, smart as heck, can work across the aisle. we saw that when she was the governor of a red state working
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with a republican legislature. she is really savvy in working on the immigration issue. combined with all that when you go to arizona when she was serving as you would hear people talk about janet. that tough hard-working very near that is also very present and real. >> jennifer: given the fact that she was the u.s. attorney for arizona, the governor of arizona, and now head of homeland security, she has the tough-enough lead credentials. but i think people would be interested to know she has really great sense of humor. she is really a stitch to have a beer with. i'll just say that. lastly, i just want to get your take, and i'll look at you christine, on this, because there is another interesting fact from this ppp poll, the 39%
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of americans said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who had the nra's support. 26% said they would more likely to vote for a candidate nra support,. can the nra endorsement be a strike against somebody. >> the old nra endorsement was what everybody wanted. but the nra wayne lapierre that went on tv a week after the connecticut massacre he that is what is wrong with that endorsement. >> the women donors network put out poll, what we learned is that the last organization they want to hear about on issues of safety or the last group they
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want to hear about is the nra. even women in nra households. a third of the women who were polled own guns in their household. it's time for people in congress to understand that women are prepared to vote on these issues. they're also prepared to take action. the nra of today as christine said is not the nra of yesterday. >> jennifer: interesting stuff. thank you for joining me in "the war room." jill alper and christine pelosi. up next, the equivalent of in and out burgers the sustenance that we like to call the best of the rest. and then the equivalent of day day-old bread, our own. brett erlich. >> coming up, john mccain, beyonce phil spector and the boy scouts and other people i've invited to your surprise
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birthday party. don't go away. is
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>> jennifer: cenk uygur leading "the young turks" at the top of the hour. i bet i can guess a couple of the stories. >> cenk: you're 100% right you can guess them. the drone story of how we can execute u.s. citizens without a trial is maddening. the details of it are so frustrating. i think it's ridiculous. i think it's imperial presidency and everything we fought against during the bush administration. how is that for clear? >> jennifer: i knew--we didn't do the drone story but we did do the standard & poor's and i thought you might be on that one, too. >> cenk: i hear you on that. here is the other huge story we're doing tonight. a tacoma, washington, shooting back in 2005 left a guy who had in awheelin awheelchair. we talk to him today after being in one of these shootings.
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>> jennifer: we'll be looking forward to it at the top of the hour. now to the best of the rest. the news that progressives need to know this evening. the he had slain educators from the sandy hook elementary school receive the posthumous award trying to save school children from a gunman certainly qualifies. the connecticut post reports that president obama will award the medals to the school's principal, psychologist, four teachers. they deserve no less. the progressive change campaign committee wants kentuckians to know where mitch mcconnell stands on gun safety. listing rodney kendrick for a new tv ad. watch this. here is his powerful message. >> it's unthinkable that guns used for war could be used on
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children. as a gun owner i vote to keep guns out of the wrong hands. i know these guns. i know what they can do. senator mitch mcconnell is funded by the gun industry and he opposed reform. >> jennifer: that is ad is airing in and mitch mcconnell will be re-elected in 2014. team mitch is called too liberal. no mention of senator mcconnell's stance on gun safety. it looks like progressives struck a little nerve. now to a laugh. new jersey's republican governor chris christie, the butt of jokes of our own brett erlich and others stopped by the late show with david letterman last night. check out how he handled the
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heat. >> i made jokes about you, not just one or two, on going here and there not just intermittent intermittent. [laughter] >> i didn't know it was going to be this long. >> jennifer: you got to love the guest who brings his own snacks. a quick break and then brett erlich. stick around.
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[ ♪ music ♪ ] >> jennifer: you 49ers coach jim harbaugh may have come up short but "the war room"'s" life coach brett erlich has can't-lose wisdom for prayers who are in the news. shh brett's talking now. >> you got to like the game.
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and you can sit them next to you and say you're done! [ whistle ] the boy scouts, you're done deliberating whether to let gay people into your ranks. let them in. does it bother you that the only time you're relevant these days is in discrimination discussion? i can't even measure how much better the girl scouts are than you guys. if i did i'm sure it would be measured in measurements of thin mints and samoas. you're done. [ whistle ] beyonce, you're done doing halftime shows. what's is with all the beyonces. were you paid by the beyonces? how did you get them to be back up dancer? beyonce hates being a backup dancer. beyonce, you're done. [ whistle ] john mccain, you're done tweeting.
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